Accelerate and secure your own internet connection for free with Cloudflare DNS

If you’re reading this I expect that you know what Cloudflare DNS is and that your website loads faster if you use Cloudflare nameservers.
Check out my Cloudflare Page- and Firewall Rule Guide if you want to leverage the power of your free Cloudflare plan even more!

Now, what if I told you:
You can leverage the power of Cloudflare nameservers for your own internet connection with your desktop PC, laptop, android phone, iPhone, or Mac.

DNS for my own device?

Yes. Let me first explain how your internet connection works:
You open up (the best WordPress community to ever exist).
Your device connects to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and they forward this request to their own nameservers. Their nameservers resolve the domain into an IP, answer the result back to your device and your device calls the IP behind said domain.

The nameservers that your ISP offers are not optimized for speed, privacy, or stability.
They are optimized for costing as little as possible.
How do I know this? I worked for the leading (and fastest) telecommunication provider in my country. (I’m from Germany, feel free to google who I worked for)

What this means for you as a user:
The ping (the time a single byte takes to travel to destination and back) I had with the fastest provider available in Germany usually hovers somewhere between 30-100ms (yes, that is very unstable for a DNS!) for a destination in Germany.

I then changed my nameservers to Google DNS servers, which were the general recommendation for faster DNS services before Cloudflare offered this for end-user devices.
The result: my ping decreased to somewhere around 20-30ms.
As you can see that’s not only faster but more stable too!

Take this a step further, changing my DNS to Cloudflare nameservers.
I saw a further increase in speed, cutting down the ping to 10-15ms. Yes, it’s even faster than Google DNS.
Add to this: Cloudflare is committed to privacy, which is a nice bonus.

How to set up Cloudflare DNS for your device

This is incredibly easy. Type in your address bar “” (or just click the link)

There you can download their app for Windows, Linux, and macOS. The links to the App Store and Google Play Store are also found on their homepage.

You download the app, start the app, flip the switch to on, and done.
It isn’t going to get easier than that!

If you want to set it up manually, without their app, check the Wikipedia page for the IP addresses.

What is WARP+?

The publicly available information on this is somewhat limited and it’s kind of their secret sauce. But it sure is a VPN.

From what I can guess, this leverages Cloudflare’s network to get you “prioritized routing”.

This sounds great, doesn’t it? Well….it isn’t. I tried the WARP+ service with zero improvements whatsoever.
BUT! It might actually benefit you, depending on your location.

What i mean is: i live very close to Frankfurt. Any network route is fairly short from my devices. Some of the biggest internet exchange points are very close to my location (DE-CIX, AMS-IX, Equinix, DATAIX).
There is a list of IXPs sorted by size on Wikipedia.

If none of the top10 are close to your location, or only one or two of those, i’d recommend giving WARP+ a try – it might benefit you, your mileage may vary.

DNS Filtering for Malware or Families

Inside the app, inside the advanced settings, inside the connection options is “DNS options”.
In there you find “ for Families”

This offers you to block malware or block malware and content not suited for the underaged.
What this means is that will block URLs that are known to be unsafe or to contain content not appropriate for the underaged, at the DNS level – meaning way before they reach your device.

If you’re a parent this comes in quite handy!

Can i use Cloudflare DNS with my own VPN?

For the VPN I use, NordVPN*, yes you can.

Inside the settings is an advanced tab where you can set up custom DNS.
You can even take advantage of the DNS-malware filtering or family-appropriate filtering!

You can find the IP addresses needed for this in this Wikipedia article.

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